Carbon dioxide over-emitters owe India an annual compensation of $1,446 per capita till 2050, and a yearly compensation equivalent to 66 percent of its GDP in 2018, says a new study published in the science journal Nature Sustainability.
Industrialised nations of the Global North, such as the US and Germany, are responsible for 90 percent of excessive levels of carbon dioxide emissions and could be liable to pay $170 trillion in compensation to low-emitters such as India to ensure climate change targets are met by 2050.
The researchers obtained remaining global carbon budgets for 1.5 degrees Celsius and 2 degrees Celsius from the IPCC and distributed fair shares across 168 countries, based on population. Next, they compared each country’s fair share against how much carbon dioxide that country has released historically from 1960, together with a business-as-usual scenario and an ambitious scenario where it removes carbon from current levels to net zero by 2050.
Even under ambitious scenarios, the Global North would exceed its collective share of the carbon budget by a factor of three. A few low-emitting countries, especially India, would forgo a majority of total appropriated emissions to balance the excess of over-emitting countries.
The top five over-emitting countries, including the US, Germany, Russia, the UK and Japan, would be liable to pay $131 trillion (more than two-thirds of total compensation). The US holds the single largest climate debt to low-emitting countries at $2.6 trillion/year. The top five low-emitting countries — India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria and China — are entitled to receive $102 trillion in compensation or reparations.